Australia's Mitchell Start appeals during the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Mitchell Starc is among four big-name players returning to Australia's T20 squad for the NZ tour. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS
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Aussies recall big guns for T20 series in New Zealand

Steve Larkin February 6, 2024

Australia’s big guns Pat Cummins, Travis Head, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc have been summoned for the Twenty20 squad for the looming away series in New Zealand.

The star quartet are among a 15-man squad named on Tuesday for the three-match series starting on February 21.

Sean Abbott, despite his match-winning heroics in Australia’s 50-over win against West Indies last Sunday, has missed a berth – he’s on standby along with paceman Jason Behrendorff.

Abbott and Behrendorff will feature in Australia’s home T20 series against West Indies which begins in Hobart on Friday.

But chairman of selectors George Bailey said the duo will miss the New Zealand games as Australia seek to fine-tune their line-up ahead of the World Cup starting in June in the Caribbean and United States.

“The next six games will provide us the opportunity to start shaping what we think our World Cup squad will look like and potential roles within that,” Bailey said in a statement.

“We will also fully utilise the opportunity to monitor and watch the performances of the Australian players in the IPL immediately preceding the World Cup.”

Should fast bowlers Starc, Cummins and Josh Hazlewood all play in the same game, it will be the first time the pace trio have featured together in a T20 line-up since a home World Cup game against Ireland on October 31, 2022.

The Aussies will have played a dozen T20Is between that game and the first match of the NZ series.

Australia play the Black Caps on February 21 in Wellington before two games in Auckland, on February 23 and February 25.

Australia squad:

Mitchell Marsh (capt), Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.